ページの画像
PDF
ePub

PSALM CXVII.

ALL ye Gentiles, praise the LORD;
All ye lands, your voices raise:
Heaven and earth, with loud accord,
Praise the LORD, for ever praise.
For His truth and mercy stand,
Past, and present, and to be,
Like the years of His right hand,
Like His own eternity.
Praise Him, ye who know His love;
Praise Him from the depths beneath;
Praise Him in the heights above;
Praise your Maker, all that breathe.

PSALM CXXII.

GLAD was my heart to hear

My old companions say,
Come, in the house of God appear,

For 'tis a holy day.
Our willing feet shall stand

Within the temple door;
While young and old, in many a band,

Shall throng the sacred floor. Thither the tribes repair,

Where all are wont to meet, And joyful in the house of prayer

Bend at the mercy-seat. Pray for Jerusalem,

The city of our GOD: The LORD from heaven be kind to them

That love the dear abode! Within these walls may peace

And harmony be found : Zion, in all thy palaces Prosperity abound !

For friends and brethren dear,

Our prayer shall never cease: Oft as they meet for worship here,

God send His people peace!

PSALM CXXXI.

LORD, for ever at Thy side
Let my place and portion be;
Strip me of the robe of pride,
Clothe me with humility.
Meekly may my soul receive
All Thy Spirit hath revealed ;
Thou hast spoken ;-I believe,
Though the prophecy were sealed.
Quiet as a weanéd child,
Weaned from the mother's breast,
By no subtlety beguiled,
On thy faithful word I rest.
Saints, rejoicing evermore,
In the LORD JEHOVAH trust;
Him in all His ways adore,
Wise, and wonderful, and just.

PSALM CXXXII.

God in His temple let us meet ;
Low on our knees before Him bend ;
Here hath He fixed His mercy-seat ;
Here on His Sabbath we attend.

Arise into Thy resting-place,
Thou, and Thine ark of strength, O LORD!
Shine through the veil ; we seek Thy face;
Speak, for we hearken to Thy word.

With righteousness Thy priests array;
Joyful Thy chosen people be;
Let those who teach and those who pray,
Let all be holiness to Thee.

PSALM CXLII.

I CRIED unto the LORD most just,

Most merciful, in prayer;
I cried unto Him from the dust,

I told Him my despair.

When sunk my soul within me, then

Thou knew'st the path I chose: Unharmed I passed the spoiler's den,

I walked through ambushed foes.

I looked for friends, there was not one

In sorrow to condole;
I looked for refuge, there was none:

None cared for my soul.

I cried unto the LORD : I said,

Thou art my refuge, Thou
My portion; hasten to mine aid;

Hear and deliver now.

Now, from the dungeon, from the grave,

Exalt Thy suppliant's head;
Thy voice is freedom to the slave,

Revival to the dead.

NOTES.

1

NOTES TO THE WEST INDIES.

Page 50.

The new Las Casas of a ruined race. The author of this poem confesses himself under many obligaticns to Mr. Wilberforce's eloquent letter on the abolition of the slave trade, addressed to the freeholders of Yorkshire, and published in 1807, previous to the decision of the question. Las Casas has been accused of being a promoter, if not the original projector, of the negro slave trade to the West Indies. The Abbé Gregoire some years ago published a defence of this great and good man against the degrading imputation. The following, among other arguments which he advances, are well worthy of consideration.

The slave trade between Africa and the West Indies commenced, according to Herrera himself, the first and indeed the only accuser of Las Casas, nineteen years before the epoch of his pretended project.

Herrera (from whom other authors have negligently taken the fact for granted, on his bare word) does not quote a single authority in support of his assertion, that Las Casas recommended the importation of negroes into Hispaniola. The charge itself was first published thirty-five years after the death of Las Casas. All writers ante. cedent to Herrera, and contemporary with him, are silent on the subject, although several of these were the avowed enemies of Las Casas. Herrera's veracity on other points is much disputed, and he displays violent prejudices against the man whom he accuses. It may be added that he was greatly indebted to him for information as an historian of the Indies.

In the numerous writings of Las Casas himself, still extant, there is not one word in favour of slavery of any kind, but they abound with reasoning and invective against it in every shape; and, among his eloquent appeals and comprehensive plans on behalf of the oppressed Indians, there is not a solitary hint in recommendation of the African slave trade.

NOTES TO THE WORLD BEFORE THE FLOOD.

2

Page 123.

Hades is moved to meet thee from below. This passage, the reader will perceive, is an imitation of some verses in the fourteenth chapter of the prophecy of Isaiah, which are applied to the fall of the king of Babylon. The following extract from Bishop Lowth's note on the original will elucidate the paraphrase. The regions of the dead are laid open, and Hades is represented as rousing up the shades of the departed monarchs; they rise from their thrones to meet the king of Babylon at his coming, and insult him on his being reduced to the same low state of impotence and dissolution with themselves. The image of the state of the dead, or the infernum poeticum of the Hebrews, is taken from their custom of burying, those at least of the highest rank, in large sepulchral vaults hewn in the rock. Of this kind of sepulchres there are remains at Jerusalem now extant, an that are said to be the sepulchres of the kings of Judah. (See Maundrell, p. 76.) You are to form to yourself the idea of an immense subterraneous vault, a vast gloomy cavern, all round the sides of which there are cells to receive the dead bodies : here the deceased monarchs lie in a distinguished sort of state, suitable to their former rank, each on his own couch, with his arms beside him, his sword at his head, and the bodies

some

of his chiefs and companions around him.

These illustrious shades rise as once from their couches, as from their thrones, and advance to the entrance of the cavern to meet the King of Babylon, and to receive him with insults on his fall." Lowth's Isaiah, chap. xiv. 9, et seq,

3

NOTES TO GREENI.AND.

Page 134. And princes at the price of thrones believed. The Church of the United Brethren (first established under that name about the year 1460) traces its descent from the Sclavonian branch of the Greek Church, which was spread throughout Bohemia and Moravia, as well as the ancient Dalmatia. The Bulgarians were once the most powerful tribe of the Sclavonic nations; and among them the Gospel was introduced in the ninth century.

The story of the introduction of Christianity among the Sclavonic tribes is interesting. The Bulgarians, being borderers on the Greek empire, frequently made predatory incursions on the imperial territory. On one occasion, the sister of Bogaris, king of the Bulgarians, was taken prisoner and carried to Constantinople. Being a royal captive, she was treated with great honour, and diligently instructed in the doctrines of the Gospel, of the truth of which she became so deeply convinced that she desired to be baptized; and when, in 845, the Emperor Michael III. made peace with the Bulgarians, she returned to her country a pious and zealous Christian. Being earnestly concerned for the conversion of her brother and his people, she wrote to Constantinople for teachers to instruct them in the way of righteousness. Two distinguished bishops of the Greek Church, Cyrillus and Methodius, were accordingly sent into Bulgaria. The King Bogaris, who heretofore had resisted conviction, conceived a particular affection for Methodius, who, being a skilful painter, was desired by him, in the spirit of a barbarian, to compose a picture exhibiting the most horrible devices. Methodius took a happy advantage of this strange request, and painted the day of judgment in a style so terrific, and explained its scenes to his royal master in language so awful and affecting, that Bogaris was awakened, made a profession of the true faith, and was baptized by the name of Michael, in honour of his benefactor, the Greek emperor. His subjects, according to the fashion of the times, some by choice, and others from constraint, adopted their master's religion. To Cyrillus is attributed the translation of the Scriptures still in use among the descendants of the Sclavonian tribes, which adhere to the Greek Church; and this is probably the most ancient European version of the Bible in a living tongue.

But notwithstanding this triumphant introduction of Christianity among these fierce nations (including the Bohemians and Moravians), multitudes adhered to idolatry, and among the nobles especially many continued pagans, and in open or secret enmity against the new religion and its professors. In Bohemia, Duke Borziwog, having embraced the Gospel,

was expelled by his chieftains, and one Stoymirus, who had been thirteen years in exile, and who was believed to be a heathen, was chosen by them as their prince. He being, however, soon detected in Christian worship, was deposed, and Borziwog recalled. The latter died soon after his restoration, leaving his widow, Ludomilla, regent during the minority of her son Wratislaus, who married a noble lady named Drahomira. The young duchess, to ingratiate herself with her husband and her mother-in-law, affected to embrace Christianity, while in her heart she remained an implacable enemy to it. Her husband dying early, lest her with two infant boys. Wenceslaus, the elder, was taken by his grandmother, the pious Ludomilla, and care. fully educated in Christian principles; the younger, Boleslas, was not less carefully educated in hostility against them by Drahomira ; who, seizing the government during the minority of her children, shut up the churches, forbade the clergy either to preach or teach in schools, and imprisoned, banished, or put to death those who disobeyed her edicts against the Gospel. But when her eldest son, Wenceslaus, became of age, he was persuaded by his grandmother and the principal Christian nobles to take posses. sion of the government, which was his inheritance. He did so, and began his reign by removing his pagan mother and brother to a distance from the metropolis. Drahomira, transported with rage, resolved to rid herself of her mother-in-law, whose influence over Wenceslaus was predominant. She found two heathen assassins ready for her purpose, who, stealing unperceived into Ludomilla's oratory, fell upon her as she

« 前へ次へ »